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Legal market overview
Macedonia saw its economy contract by 0.3% in 2012, but can still lay claim to having experienced the shallowest recession of all the countries in southeastern Europe. Its success is largely down to the government’s aggressive pursuit of foreign investment through incentives such as a ten-year tax holiday for companies setting up in a special development zone, subsidies for greenfield sites, and some of the lowest wage costs in Europe. Strong trade links with countries including Austria, Greece, and Serbia, as well as a relatively conservative banking sector, have also contributed to the economy keeping its head above water.
Challenges still lie ahead, however, with high unemployment, rising government debt, and the repercussions of the ongoing austerity measures undertaken by key trading partner Greece still looming large in the background.
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EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) is acquiring the 50% holdings of Eni Gruppe, Rome, in EnBW Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart, thereby increasing its holdings to 100 %. This makes EnBW indirectly the sole shareholder of Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS) and terranets bw GmbH. GSK Stockmann + Kollegen provided comprehensive legal advice to EnBW in connection with this transaction.
Aware of the advantages of meal vouchers in electronic form, the Government has decided to definitively replace the paper form by electronic form, with effect from 1 January 2016.
Luxembourg's Financial Sector Supervisory Authority According has published Circular 14/591 on July 22, addressed to all open-ended UCITS funds governed by the grand duchy's legislation of December 17, 2010, regarding the protection of investors in the event of a material change to an open-ended undertaking for collective investment. The CSSF says that according to well-established supervisory practice, in the event of such a material change to investors' interests in an open-ended fund under the 2010 law, the regulator requires that they be given sufficient time to take an informed decision, and that if they do not wish to accept the proposed change, they should be able to redeem or convert their shares or units free of charges.
In response to the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Donetsk and in view of the gravity of the overall situation, the Council of the European Union has adopted new restrictive measures targeting cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation. 2014.08.05_-_russian_sanctions_newsflash
The benefits that will the TTIP bring in to the table for both of the signatories across the Atlantic are well documented by the Atlantic Community. Generation of a volume trade that amounts a USD$ 1.2 billion and the expansion of the already existing transatlantic trade accompanied by the removal of non-tariff barriers as well as cheaper prices for the consumers and common standards for the producers that would give a leeway for them in fierce global competition by declining production costs. However the other side of the coin points to possible pitfalls for the TTIP like a requirement for a painstaking process of harmonization of two different legal systems and possible discords regarding the inclusion and exclusion of some specific sectors in to the agreement. However one of those prospective challenges has increasingly coming to the fore and lately being discussed among the pundits as one of the most troublesome among the others. This is the point concerning the investor to state dispute settlements ( ISDS )
GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the shareholder of the PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, the PAMERA Retail GmbH and the PAMERA Development GmbH on the sale of these companies to the European Cornerstone subsidiary of US-American Cornerstone Estate Advisers LLC.
In a recent landmark judgment (3 June 2014, XI ZR 147/12), the banking law senate of the German Supreme Court stipulates far-reaching disclosure obligations for banks (active in Germany) with respect to internal commission payments for investments. While the country's banks are obliged to inform their clients of such "hidden" internal commission payments as of 1 August 2014, they will not be held liable for not having disclosed such commission payments in the past. The German Supreme Court's decision will certainly have an immediate impact also in Austria. read more...
Austrian tax law enables taxpayers to avoid criminal tax sanctions or penalties in case of fiscal offences by submitting a voluntary disclosure. The taxpayer's exemption from any criminal tax sanctions on account of having submitted a voluntary disclosure is subject to specific preconditions. A draft tax bill on the Amendment of the Austrian Fiscal Criminal Tax Act 2014 (Finanzstrafgesetznovelle 2014) that is currently pending for vote in the Austrian Parliament is set to tighten these requirements significantly. The new rules are expected to enter into force as of 1 October 2014. read more...
Since middle of May, a new act on LLP companies is in force in Guernsey, providing unique opportunities for tax planning.
Creation of something out of nothing, based on nothing, guaranteed by no one, persuading people that this something is worth anything - we wonder how much longer it will last and how many people will be worse off because of it.
On 24 July 2014, Wild Bunch S.A. and the listed Senator AG announced their intention to merge into a European independent film distribution company. Wild Bunch is an important player in the field of international film sales and electronic distribution with a Europe-wide network in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Senator AG is a German film productions and distribution company producing and distributing German and international movies since the 1970s.
Hengeler Mueller has successfully reached a temporary suspension of the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg against Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services. Uber may thus continue providing its services in Hamburg until further notice.
AT: Schoenherr advises Ashland on sale of its water technologies business to Clayton Dubilier & RiceSchoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Ashland on the Austrian aspects related to the sale of its global water technologies business to private equity fund Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). The transaction is valued at approximately USD 1.8 billion. By this sale, Ashland intends to focus on their core specialty chemicals business. read more...
AstapovLawyers International Law Group has defended interests of a maritime transportation branch of a multinational company trading in various soft commodities in arbitration proceedings at the London Maritime Arbitrators Association.
The States approved the proposed Employment (Amendment No 8) (Jersey) Law 201- on Friday 18 July 2014. This will bring statutory family friendly rights to Jersey for the first time, including maternity leave, paternity leave and the right to request flexible working. These proposals were originally raised in 2008. We are now six years on and it is likely that these family friendly rights will come into effect on 1 September 2015 at the same time as sex discrimination legislation.
This judgment relates to:
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
VEGAS LEX hosted a business breakfast on July 23, 2014, dedicated to major amendments to Federal Law «On Concession Agreements». It was the first discussion of the bill after it was passed by the Council of Federation on July 9, 2014.
VEGAS LEX and InfraONE at the first session as members of RF Transportation Ministry Investment CoorThe RF Transportation Ministry Investment Coordinating Board* chaired by Minister Maxim Sokolov and his deputy Oleg Berezovsky convened on July 16, 2014 for the first extended closed-door session. The Board was established to facilitate private investment and provide administrative support to the development of transport infrastructure projects.